I’ve been a bit useless this month keeping up with the blog. To be fair, the only thing I would have had to write about would have been my food hygiene training (which was cancelled) as I’ve been trying to keep my head in the finishing of my job. And then, you know, Christmas takes over life.
Starting as I mean to go on with a more regular set of blog posts, I am going off topic in this one as I left my job last week. But I didn’t just leave my job, I’ve walked away from the sector I’ve spent the last fifteen years working for, and want to take a moment to talk about that instead of cake as I’ve finally realised just how big the step I’ve taken is.
I particularly want to pay tribute to all the incredible people who work in the charity sector. Charities get a bad rap; I even hear it from my own friends and family at times. Never any intentional or personal insults, just a lack of understanding of the sector and how much it manages to achieve with so little.
Way back when I decided I wanted to work for a charity, two people took a chance on me and offered me my first job at Historic Royal Palaces. Nigel Kirkup and Clare Wilkinson taught me almost everything I know today about fundraising, and about being great managers; they’ve not really ever been beaten, and I owe them everything for my career that followed.
I’ve seen the best and worst of people over the years, but there is one consistent; the passion and desire to do good. You certainly don’t work in the sector for the money, and there is something else that drives almost everyone I’ve worked with. This gets lost in the press, when stories of charities hounding people, or over-payment CEOs manage to make headlines. Obviously, if we work for a charity we should all work for free because we don’t carry out highly skilled roles or have our own bills to pay.
Spending over half my career at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust became more than a job too. Here, I worked with some of the most dedicated people you can imagine. Cystic fibrosis is such a complex condition, a real challenge to fundraise for if you’re trying to widen beyond those people with a direct link because you can’t explain it in the same ‘simple’ ways as cancer or dementia. I am honoured to have played a part in the history of the organisation, and I don’t think I’ll ever feel I’ve left as I will always do what I can for the charity. The recent Christmas appeal video shows just a snapshot of the complexity of life with CF.
So to everyone I’ve worked with over the years – you are incredible, and I will be forever in awe of how much you all achieve, and the passion with which you all deliver your roles. And I’m lucky enough to have come away from the sector with some lifelong friends (you know who you are!), something I am so lucky to have worked with you to make working life fun.
Back to cake for a moment, here’s a little peek of my pre-Christmas corporate cake, Christmas cookies and Christmas cake.
I hope you all had a great Christmas and I wish you all the very best for 2018. Thank you all for your incredible support as I embark on the next chapter of my life.